Beyond Good and Evil 2 has hit another development setback as the studio's managing director Guillaume Carmona has reportedly left the company. As per Kotaku, Ubisoft Montpellier staff were informed of this leadership change just last week, amidst a labour investigation by local authorities over burnout. An almost two-decade-long veteran at Ubisoft, Carmona had been absent from the office since the start of 2023, with no verifiable reasons for his departure. First revealed in 2017, the report also notes that Beyond Good and Evil 2 still has not entered full production, as the makers have been unable to figure out a “creative vision.”
“The health and wellness of our teams is an ongoing priority,” a Ubisoft spokesperson told Kotaku. “Given the length of the development cycle with Beyond Good & Evil 2, the Montpellier development team is undergoing well-being assessments through a third party for preventative measures and to evaluate where additional support may be needed.” News about Carmona's departure comes after a year that saw several Ubisoft Montpellier developers going out on long sick leaves due to burnout and stress. The report mentioned that while some employees came back, others entirely left the studio, leading to the investigation in December.
In recent times, the studio underwent another shake-up, which saw senior creative director Jean-Marc Geffroy getting removed from the project, and being replaced by Emile Morel, who previously served as Beyond Good and Evil 2's associate director. Game director Benjamin Dumaz left the company as well, emptying space for Charles Gaudron, former design director, to take over. While the change in designations might sound daunting, it isn't uncommon for a game designer to take over a larger directorial role. FromSoftware's upcoming Armored Core VI Fires of Rubicon saw a change in leadership direction as well when Masaru Yamamura took over the role of director from Hidetaka Miyazaki. The former previously served as the lead game designer on Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice.
Ubisoft Montpellier has been working on Beyond Good and Evil 2 for over 15 years in some capacity now, with Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot assuring back in 2010 that the game “will be perfect.” A cinematic trailer for the same was shown at E3 2017, presented by Michel Ansel, director of the original 2003 game. However, he ended up resigning from the company in 2020, after reports of his toxic workplace behaviour surfaced. The game itself was described as an open-world affair, set in a multi-ethnic and multi-racial society, featuring traditional role-playing elements. An official webpage for the same is still up.
Back in 2020, Netflix confirmed that it was working on a Beyond Good and Evil movie, directed by Rob Letterman, best known for Pokémon: Detective Pikachu. The film was said to feature both live-action and animated elements and was on the hunt for writers. There hasn't been any update on it since.
Earlier this month, Ubisoft finally confirmed the reason behind its several game delays and cancellations, with CEO Guillemot claiming that the company was producing way too many games at once. This understandably led to revenue losses, with some of the blame being shifted to Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope and Just Dance 2023's underperformance in the final weeks of 2022.
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